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South Africa’s highest ranked wheelchair tennis women’s ace Kgothatso Montjane fought like a lion but saw her hopes of reaching her second singles semi-final round at the US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships ended in an exhilarating 7-5 6-2 defeat by Yui Kamiji, the number 2 seed from Japan in St. Louis on Thursday.

The former world number 1 Kamiji was made to work hard before finally breaking the resistance of the 32-year-old left-hander from Limpopo who was serving and volleying beautifully throughout.

The opening set toggled back and forth, but Montjane looked to be extending her trend of dominance early on leading 3-2 but the Japanese broke her for 3-all. The two women traded breaks to 5-5 but Kamiji steadied herself, found her momentum, and overwhelmed the South African en route to a first set lead.

The Japanese world number 2 dominated the second set, consistently keeping Montjane off balance with the quality of her serving to eventually win the set and advance to the semi-final after a 2-hour battle.

The world number 6 Montjane may be ranked out of the top 5 in the world but she made the world number 2 Kamiji work for every point in some lengthy and at times spectacular rallies in the opening set.

"My serve worked well, I was swinging the ball so well and hopefully I can continue like this. I gave it my all and I always try hard to keep improving. I know if I want to have chances to win in these big tournaments, I need to serve really well and that's one thing I am focusing on,” said Montjane.

The last time Montjane defeated Kamiji was in the quarter-final of the Melbourne Open in 2016 where Montjane staged a master-class performance to edge out the Japanese 6-3 6-2 but Kamiji’s win today has extended her 18-4 lead in their head-to-head.

It is not over for Montjane as the world number 6 and her doubles partner Momoko Ohtani (JPN), seeded 4, defeated Angelica Bernal (COL) and Giulia Capocci (ITA) 6-0 6-4 to advance to the doubles semi-final round at the sixth and last Super Series event on the 2018 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour in St. Louis.

The South African-Japanese duo will now go up against top seeds Yui Kamiji (JPN) and Lucy Shuker (GBR) on Friday for a place in the final.

For more information please contact Anthony Moruthane 082 382 0850 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or please visit: